HBC Argues Against Lockdown

The Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC) is asking the Ontario Superior Court to quash the provincial government’s lockdown orders in Toronto and neighbouring Peel Region. It is arguing the rules that have forced it to shutter stores during their busiest season of the year are “incoherent and devoid of logic. Of all months to impose a full lockdown, this is by far the most crippling,” it says in its application for a judicial review. The company’s 12 stores in Ontario’s lockdown regions normally make up to 20 per cent of their annual sales during December’s holiday shopping rush. But Ontario has banned non-essential retailers in Toronto and Peel from opening for in-store shopping since late November. Big box chains that sell groceries, including Walmart, Loblaw, and Costco, are exempt from the order and the government has not stopped them from also selling clothes, electronics, and other non-essential items. HBC wants the court to rule that it’s “unreasonable” and “irrational” to allow those stores to stay open while department stores are ordered shut, aside from delivery and curbside pickups.